Harbour House V & A Waterfront

10 Visitor Photos +

Quay 4, Cape Town Central, South Africa



Good for:

Breakfast/Brunch, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations


3.7 rating based on 3 ratings
3 Reviews

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Overall Rating

Very Good

Rating Summary

3.3 rating based on 3 ratings
2.7 rating based on 3 ratings
3.0 rating based on 3 ratings
4.7 rating based on 3 ratings
  1. Expert Review

    3.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Jan 2015 · morgantrimble

    What Harbour House has going for it is a great location. It sits right on the corner of the harbor...

    What Harbour House has going for it is a great location. It sits right on the corner of the harbor of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront overlooking the boats lined up along the main sidewalk. From inside the restaurant, you feel like you could be sitting on a dock out over the water. The restaurant is nicely decorated and is beautiful at night with the lights of the harbor and Ferris wheel behind it. As beautiful as the restaurant is, I found it to be overpriced for the quality and a bit of a tourist trap.

    I stopped in for a Sunday evening meal hoping for some amazing seafood. I tried the Cape rock lobster, also known as crayfish, off the specials menu. I was really looking forward to it because crayfish is one of my absolute favorites. Crayfish is similar to lobster but usually a little sweeter and more tender. The portion Harbour House served up was good—one and a half crayfish. It’s not a lot of food, but it’s enough. Disappointingly, however, I found the crayfish to be pretty tasteless, tough, and stuck in the shell. Though they were advertised as grilled, there was no sign of grill marks or grill flavor and they totally lacked seasoning. They came served with a rather bland mayonnaise, but a garlic or lemon butter dipping sauce would have been much better. Additionally, although I ordered chips for my side, I got rice when the server brought my plate. By the time the actual waiter came to check if everything was okay, I had decided just to go with the rice rather than let everything get cold waiting for the chips. The rice was also pretty bland and tasteless, and I suspect the chips wouldn’t have been much of an improvement.

    I decided to give them one more chance and ordered crème brulee for a dessert. The presentation was nice but the texture of the crème brulee was curdled rather than creamy—not what you expect from such an expensive place. The Harbour House is pretty, but there are much better and cheaper options in the Waterfront and beyond.

  2. Expert Review

    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Dec 2014 · BBlond

    While many V&A Waterfront restaurants are known more for their views than their food, Harbour House is known for both....

    While many V&A Waterfront restaurants are known more for their views than their food, Harbour House is known for both. Located right at Quay Four this big airy restaurant with white table clothes and indoor and outdoor seating on several tiers serves an almost exclusively fish and seafood oriented menu with excellent results. The ambiance is equally appealing with a sophisticated almost romantic vibe.

    Try for an outdoor table (bring a sweater though as it is often windy) fronting the harbor, as these have the most spectacular views. You can choose from white leather banquet tables which are set a few feet back (more sheltered) or the tables right on railing facing the water.

    If you’re coming for lunch, begin with the restaurant’s signature Fish Soup, which usually sells out before lunch finishes. If it is already finished, the oysters are always a solid second choice. It’s hard to go wrong ordering here, as all the dishes are well presented and creative in their conception and flavors. Make sure to check the daily blackboard specials, however, as these are often the best choice – I loved the seafood pasta special I ordered, and the line-fish options are also delicious. From the menu itself, the grilled paprika calamari is another excellent choice. There is also a sushi menu.

    The service here is very good with waitstaff not only attentive but also in the know about specific dishes and also pairing them with wine off the restaurant’s extensive list.

    For something lighter, head to the upstairs deck, which serves only sushi and cocktails and is perfect for a post-shopping snack.

  3. Expert Review

    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Jul 2013 · Richard Holmes

    It’s a foolish tourist that doesn’t spend a day touring the Cape Peninsula on their first visit to the Mother...

    It’s a foolish tourist that doesn’t spend a day touring the Cape Peninsula on their first visit to the Mother City. Early breakfast, then head south from Cape Town along past the 12 Apostles, over scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive to Cape Point.

    Tour the ‘Fairest Cape’ before meandering your way homewards along the scenic False Bay coastline. Through historic Simon’s Town, past the bathing beaches of Fish Hoek and by the time you reach Kalk Bay you’ll be glad you booked a table for a late lunch at Harbour House.

    For while there’s now an outpost in the touristy V&A Waterfront, this glass-fronted eatery built on the breakwater of this historic fishing harbour is easily one of the most memorable restaurants in Cape Town. In winter waves crash against the windows, while in summer the doors are flung wide and the sea laps beneath your feet. Book in advance for a window table and you won’t regret it.

    While the seasons may change the food here is remarkably consistent, although always – understandably – heavy on the seafood. West Coast mussels and Mozambican prawns are popular options, but the fresh line fish is easily your best bet: usually grilled and served with roasted vegetables and buttery potatoes.

    But is it fresh, I hear you ask? Well, the restaurant goes so far as to have its own boat bobbing in the harbour below, and the line fish on the chalkboard menu is usually what’s been hooked that morning. There’s beef, lamb and pasta for picky eaters, alongside a wine list that features plenty of options from local Constantia vineyards.

    The décor is bright and breezy in a beach cottage sort of way, and although the service can be tardy at times with a panoramic sea view stretching across False Bay to the distant Kogelberg Mountains… well, what’s the rush?

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